• La Liga’s plan to stage a regular Spanish league game in the U.S. is dead after Barcelona backed out of its part of the potential deal. Barcelona was to be the drawing card in what was nominally a home game for Girona in late January in Miami. But legal battles at every level eventually made the game more or less impossible.
• The U.S. women’s national team learned its group stage opponents for next summer’s World Cup: Sweden, Thailand and Chile. Amazingly, it’s the fifth consecutive World Cup that the U.S. has been in a group with Sweden. The Americans haven’t fared well lately against their Scandinavian rivals: a draw in 2015, a loss in 2011 and a quarterfinal loss to the Swedes at the 2016 Olympics. That said, the U.S. should get out of this group with relative ease.
• FIFA has proposed new rules limiting the number of players that a club can loan to other teams, which could have a big impact on several Premier League teams. The proposed rules would limit teams to six to eight players out on loan. Chelsea, as an (extreme) example, currently has 39 players loaned to other teams.